The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) is committed to improving the food security and wellbeing of poor people who depend on freshwater and coastal ecosystems for their livelihoods. AAS is particularly concerned with enhancing the equity of the social, economic and political structures that influence the livelihoods of poor households dependent on aquatic agricultural systems.
The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) is increasingly using the language of transformation to describe its aims and approach to achieving lasting impact at scale. Clarity on what AAS means by “transformation” is important to ensure that use of the term is intentional and meaningful. AAS wants to avoid the risk befalling a number of terms used in the development field-i.e., empowerment and participation-which are applied by such a wide range of actors with divergent intent and ideology that the terms lose meaning.
The scoping mission team was composed of 14 people representing research institutions (RUPP), government (FiA, IFReDI), NGOs (ANKO, ADIC) and CGIAR institutions (WorldFish and Bioversity). The scoping trip was carried out over a 7-day period from April 28 to May 4 within eight (8) communities in Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Battambang, Pursat and Kampong Chhnang. In addition, panel discussions were held with local government, fishery, agriculture and water management institutions, NGOs, the private sector and communities, and were convened in Siem Reap, Battambang and Pursat.
Women are active participants in aquaculture supply chains, but a dearth of gender-disaggregated information hampers accurate understanding of their contribution. Research results and FAO National Aquaculture Sector Overview (NASO) fact sheets show that female participation rates vary by type and scale of enterprise and country. Women are frequently active in hatcheries and dominate fish processing plant labourers. Women’s work in small-scale aquaculture frequently is unrecognized, under or unpaid.
Rural households who fail to gain a voice in decisions over the management of shared forests, pasturelands, wetlands and fisheries face heightened risks to their livelihoods, particularly as competition increases between existing and new user groups. Exclusion from decision-making increases vulnerability of rural households, making it more difficult for them to move out of poverty and thwarting broader efforts to achieve sustainable resource management. Poor rural women in particular often face institutionalized barriers to effective participation in resource management.
Decades of scientific research related to agriculture and natural resource management have brought limited benefits to smallholder farmers, including crop farmers, fishers, livestock keepers and other resource users. Therefore, donors, policymakers and civil society organizations (CSOs), such as farmer organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), are urging the formal research sector to make its work more useful to smallholder farmers.
Future fish demand-supply scenarios project that investment in aquaculture will be needed to ensure fish for food security in Solomon Islands. In 2010 a study of two peri-urban areas of Solomon Islands analysed the demand and potential for inland aquaculture, and the role of the introduced Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) in household livelihoods and existing value chains. Of 178 households interviewed, marine reef fish were the preferred fish for consumption, although tinned fish was also common.
The majority of rural farmers in Nepal are small holders and their livelihood is based on agriculture. Three projects on small- scale aquaculture, with focus on women’s involvement, were completed in Kathar and Kawasoti Village Development Committees (VDCs) of Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts, respectively during 2000-2007. Based on the experience from these projects, guidelines/ steps for the development of small-scale aquaculture in rural areas were drawn.
An examination is made of the activities of the research project "Rural women in fishing communities" in Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. The project sought to develop a model of participatory data collection onwomen's role and activities in fishing communities as a basis for planning, monitoring and evaluation and also to help women improve their living and working conditions by establishing pilot action projects to provide inputs and services to help meet their basic needs.
The Program will achieve impact at multiple scales (household, community, province and national as well as amongst program countries) through pathways that include partnerships, knowledge sharing and learning. In Solomon Islands significant benefits will be achieved through direct engagement with partners, including communities in specific research sites in selected program hubs. Of a total population of just over half a million people, 75% of Solomon Islanders are subsistence-oriented small holder farmers and fishers.